Can I claim a tax deduction for my scrubs?
You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying and cleaning: occupation-specific clothing, protective clothing and unique, distinctive uniforms. You can claim a deduction for occupation-specific clothing. This means it is specific to your occupation, is not every day in nature and allows the public to easily recognise your occupation.
For more details on tax deductibility please see the ATO link below.
How do I wash my scrubs?
This depends on what you do in scrubs. If you are a frontline healthcare worker in a COVID hotspot you will need to consider how you do your laundry very carefully. There have been no documented cases of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus via clothing at this point of the pandemic. One study found no viable virus on clothing 2 days after exposure with SARS-CoV-2 virus. There is no data that supports transmission via clothing.
The COVID virus is undetectable on clothing once laundered at 60 degrees Celsius in normal laundry detergent for 30 minutes. DO NOT wash on a quick cycle and DO NOT wash in cold water. Equally you do not need to wash your scrubs in hot water and you do not need to add bleach or any other additives.
Scrubs can be washed with other scrubs but it is advisable to wash scrubs separate to your domestic clothing. Once you’ve removed your scrubs, carefully place them in a separate plastic bags to wait for washing. Do not shake out your scrubs – it can release viruses and other germs into the air. Carefully load your scrubs into the washing machine being careful to not touch your face and ensure that you wash your hands afterwards. Sanitise hard surfaces in your home laundry – controls, washing machine lids and door handles. If you wear scrubs in a non-clinical environment you can wash with other clothing and follow the general laundry advise on the garment.
If you have purchased scrubs that have spandex and or rayon in them (to provide stretch) the washing instructions may advise cold wash only. Don’t worry too much about this if you’ve found yourself in a clinical environment that may have you exposed to pathogens and viruses, go ahead and wash in warm (NOT HOT) soapy water for 30 minutes. The worst that will happen is that your scrubs may fade a little over time, but it’s better than the alternative. Good quality scrub brands like Wonderwink, Cherokee, Dickies, Fashion Biz and JB’s will withstand the warm wash even if the care instructions suggest cold. Repeated washing in HOT water however will damage the fabric and is not required to remove the COVID virus.
Our very popular Australian scrubs from Fashion Biz can be laundered to 80 degrees Celsius. This makes them perfect for group laundering where the industrial washing machines are set to a higher temperature.
Do I need to Iron my scrubs?
It depends on the scrubs, and you. OK, it mainly depends on you. The majority of people report that they can hang out their scrubs on the clothes line and either hang them in their closet of fold them and put them away, and they don’t need ironing. Likewise, if you hang them straight out of the dryer they don’t need ironing. We all wear scrubs as our uniform here at Smilewear and we all hang our scrubs straight out of the dryer or off the clothes line. I also give mine a quick steam with a hand steamer if they’ve been hanging for a long time a look a little crushed.
Just like a T-Shirt, scrubs will always look a bit better with an iron, but it really isn’t required unless you’ve left them in a crinkled ball. If you do like to iron your scrubs use a warm iron and not a hot iron as this overtime will break down any spandex in the fabric. If you have 100% cotton scrubs (hard to find) you will probably need to iron them, and use a hot iron.
Should I wear my scrubs in public?
This advice has been released in NSW.
Scrubs, uniforms, aprons and gowns during COVID-19
The Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) in NSW has released Information for Healthcare Workers Scrubs, uniforms, aprons and gowns – COVID 19 to support health workers during the pandemic.
It contains general advice including that health workers do not wear PPE elements of their uniform outside of the hospital environment except in circumstances where staff are in contact with patients in a community setting.